Many people are aware that horses are slaughtered but how much do you really know? A lot of people have the false impression that horses that go into slaughter are old “glue factor” horses that no longer have a use to anyone and need to be put down. This could not be any further from the truth, 92% of horses that are slaughtered are in perfectly good condition and have no reason to be “euthanized”. A prime example would be ex-race horses, more times than not they are sent to slaughter or auctions where an individual from a slaughter house will go a bid with a set price to buy the horse.
The reason that ex-race horses make up most of the statistics is that such a large number must be produced annually to find the ones fastest enough to compete, those that don’t make it must be ‘disposed’ of and that during the training process countless injuries occur which inhibit their ability to race and they too are sent to slaughter. While it is true that horse slaughter is illegal in the United States this doesn’t mean that it still doesn’t happen. They endure a horrific ride in a double-decker trailer across the borders of Mexico and Canada. They are all packed into one trailer often with no food or water and with serious injuries, and then once they arrive to the facility it is far from humane.
Many people will say that it is a humane way to euthanize horses, while in fact it is one of the most gruesome and horrific ways to kill an animal. I will try to avoid all grisly details on how it is performed, but they start off with all the horses lined up in a very narrow chute which leads to the killbox, unfortunately all the other horses have a clear view of this and are able to see what is happening but have no way of backing out. Inside the killbox the horse is first bashed in the head, often multiple times, this isn’t meant to kill them but just stun them to keep them still through the process. They are then hoisted upside down by their legs, so the individual can slit their throat causing them to bleed to death. As if this wasn’t gruesome and horrendous enough there are countless acts of further torture that the workers inflict on the horse for fun.
I simply wrote this blog to raise awareness especially with the bill Obama recently passed to bring slaughter houses back to the United States. There is simply no need for horse slaughter, there is enough meat without the use of horse slaughter and there are humane ways of euthanasia. Plus with all the growing programs to save retired race horses and rehabilitate them it slaughter is completely unnecessary and has seemed to become away to amuse and neglect an animal legally with no repercussions.